Monday, September 24, 2007


England 4. Romania 0.

There were four of them. I reckon we missed the driver.

These boys were good at what they did. They had arrived on our shores some months before we met them from the beautiful and dangerous land called Romania. I wondered whether they had been to special classes at home, classess for ATM and cashpoint crime. They were particularly adept at this type of villainy. They had been smashing ATM's all over the country and countless numbers of the public had had their PIN's corrupted and their cards cloned or even stolen using the machinery they attached to the cashpoint fronts.

However, they underestimated several factors:

The nosiness of the residents of a middle English market town.
The diligence of the ASDA security bloke.
The diligence and nifty camera work of the Council-owned CCTV system.
The untrusting nature of middle-aged people.
The shit-hot response from the local coppers.
The MINT post arrest investigation and remand application.

So, in short, we have some disgruntled middle aged folk who all report the fact that they had £250 jots nicked from their accounts without their permission. Apparently, they all went to Naples, Italy on the same day. So the local cops go down the ASDA (where the ATM's are) and infect the security guard with their enthusiasm for justice. He is despatched to find some images. Next stop, the Council CCTV. They got the infection too and despatched themselves to find some images. They find some images of a gang of four baddies apparently all wanting to use the ATM machines at the same time and being really protective of their PIN numbers.

Or rather, sticking their clever machinery onto the front of the ATM machines to steal peoples cards, clone the cards and steal the PIN numbers. Are you with me so far?

Now two weeks later, the team make the mistake of coming back to middle England and seeing if they can get some more of the foolish Englishmans cash.

Mrs 'weekdayshoppingintownlady' immediately saw the men and thought "I knew those swarthy looking eastern-europeans were up to no good...I could tell by their uneasy manner...oh and the fact that they all went to the cashpoint about ten times each after anyone went there to get money out...I decided to call the law down to have a word with them..."

Cue phonecall from lady..."you may wish to send some Policemen down to the cashpoints at ASDA, there are some out-of-towners doing something naughty the way, send only the biggest lads at the police station because these men look, well...rough quite frankly"

Cue shout to the cops and CCTV and ASDA security where immediate ID is made from the operators who by an amazing stroke of luck, were the same ones who found the images from the events of a fortnight before. So we had the same team in town.

The cops were majestic. Great CCTV footage of them strolling purposefully up to the men, then a starburst from the baddies, then a foot chase and some great and necessary use of force on arrest.

Little did the team of bad guys know that we had images of them putting the devices up inside their clothing and then hiding them in trees and bushes when they ran off. All items were recovered, including the car, which by another amazing stroke of luck had passed through the automatic number plate reader on our town approach road 12 minutes before the offences two weeks ago and ten minutes before the ones on this day.The CCTV work on this occasion was some of the best I had seen.

"General...the D.I.'s on the phone, he says you've got to interview some Romanian baddies whove been caning the cashpoint machines"
"I Don't fucking think so. I am about to go off duty and have a red-hot evening with Mrs General. It's all planned and everything. The guv can kiss my skinny white ass"
"Have you seen your ass lately Gen, it's not what you think it is.."
"Tell the guv I've gone home..."
"No you haven't I can see you there you skiving little shit" (says the guv as he walks in the room with his mobile held up to his ear)
"Erm, guv, erm please can I go home, I had a night of red-hot action planned.."
"I've spoken to your missus, she reckons ten minutes you mean..ha..ha..ha"
"Very funny guv. Really, I am going home."
"No.I need you to stay on and help with this thing. I've got some others coming over from the other districts"

"ring ring...Alright Mrs Gen, somethings happened at work and I've got to stay on and help.."
"was that help or deal?"
"No just help. It's not on my district or my type of crime so I'll just be helping"
"Okay. Try not to be too late then.."
" Sweet. keep it warm for me baby.."
"Shut up and hurry up home 'yes boy'"

They smelled bad. I walked into the block area and the fetid odour caught my throat immediately. It smelled like old rotten spuds.

"Sarge, I am interviewing the Romanian baddies. Is it true that one day, someone brought some old potatoes and thrust them into your air-conditioner without telling you about a month and a half ago and that is the odour which is making me want to boff up all my dinner?"
"No gen, its' your prisoners feet and his B.O."
"Splendid. Do we still have the white suits and breathing apparatus in custody?"
"You still have your mask on from last time gen..."
"Very amusing sarge but seriously, can they not shower?"
"the showers are bosted."
"Is bosted a word sarge?"
"Yes.It represents what I will be doing to your balls if you don't hurry up and get rid of the smelly european cousins from my block, sharpish"
"message received and understood skipper...I'll have the first miscreant to my interrogation room please,custody assistant..."

The youngest of them all. The weak link. The one who would tell us all about the job when we put the pressure on. Then we go to the other interviews with an idea of what the score was. Interpreter is a wonderfully mannered fiftysomething, who was definately a looker when she was younger. She was emabarrassed by her countrymen for sure. Young boy looked vulnerable. He was fresh in the country and hadn't been heard to utter a single word in English at any time. His brief was there. A local paralegal woman who din't like me very much and the feeling was pretty much mutual. I knew that I was getting a no comment even before the tapes were switched on.

The tears rolling down the boys cheeks seemed real to me. I mentioned home and family and being bullied by the older one in the group and it was as though I had looked into his soul. I could see just from the CCTV that the oldest one was in charge of them and they feared him.

The second one was a bit older. Knew a bit more English and was cockier. Gave a no comment interview but I took the smirk off his face with the special warnings I gave him for the property we had seized from him. An inference can be drawn in court if the suspect fails or refuses to answer a question put to him in certain circumstances. This was one of them. He continued with a no comment. Shit legal advice I thought, you'll regret that in crown court.

The third was taken by my mate which left the older one. I took him out of his cell. I saw his black leather loafers outside his cell. He had on a black pair of trousers and a white shirt. He got up off his bed and pushed his long, greasy black hair back over his head. He had stone-cold dark brown eyes. The eyes of a murderer I thought. He grinned at me and held out a plastic cup. "Coffee?"
"Yes please mate, just one sugar in mine"
"No. You get me coffee"
"I'm a detective mate, not a trolley dolly. Get your own coffee you cheeky fucker"
"You are bad man"
"Yep. Thats what my ex-wife thinks. You look a bit like her actually"
"DC General, I do hope you aren't upsetting my client?"
"Not at all, I was remarking how fetching his loafers are. I want a pair like that to do my gardening in"

He talked and blamed all the others. Standard format for a ruthless organised criminal who would have the throats cut of the other three if they even dared mention his existence. He didn't reckon on the hours of images of people putting their PIN numbers into cahspoint machines which we found on memory sticks at his house and on him. He didn't like the special warnings one bit either. Because when he was asked about the incriminating stuff, he clammed up. "you are bad man. Special warnings. You are bad man"

"I'm going home where I will smile and drift into a peaceful sleep. You are the bad man my friend"

He held out his hand to shake mine. Now, I have always thought that the worst kind of man-insult you can do is refuse to shake a mans hand if he extends it. I contemplated it for a second, but I shook his hand. "bad man" said the killer as he gripped my hand just a little bit too long. "good luck in court mate. And wash them fucking feet will you, they stink."

The application for their remand in custody was like William "the general" Shakespeare had penned it, it was that good. Surprisingly for once, the local magistrates believed me and sent them down the steps where they remain and will do so for the next couple of years.

I got home at half ten the following morning. A full 26.5 hours after I had called my wife. Legendary.

By the way, next time you get money out of the cashpoint, take a second or two to look over your shoulder for sus looking Romanian types and also, try and pull off the bit where your card goes in to the slot. If this device thing comes off in your hand, run away really quickly taking the thingy with you and try not to get shot or knifed by some organised criminals. (if you do, try and get a photo of them on your phone during the assault to help me with my enquiries.) Either bring the article to the police or throw it into a nearby lake and go to bed with a huge grin on your face, patting yourself on the back for a job well done.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Some coppers I wouldn't pay in washers.

After 9 days on and an impossibly long weekend at work, I opened up my Monday Morning emails to find one from a supposed colleague, telling me I had two late crime reports in my "electronic" crime in-tray and that I should not let my crime reports go over their due date. It is only by GOD's good grace that the human was not within striking distance of me. I could lose my job over jobsworth shiny-arsed fuckwits like this one. I know I should just delete them and say fuck it, but they piss me right off. Armchair coppers.

Monday, May 14, 2007


General is alive and well.

Greetings blog fans. Sorry, I have been away a bit.

Some twat told me to watch 24 and I've been glued to the DVD player for 3 months. I've been using my normal blog time to watch Jack BAUER. Thankfully I'm back.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


General is on holiday.

Me and Mrs General are on holiday.

I am blogging from a far off land.

Amazing eh?

Don't worry, I am keeping up the British front, drinking beers in the sun and generally relaxing on your behalf.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance.

"Hey General, you have a nice Christmas and new year?"
"Yeah I did, I got married."
"Are you mad? Didn't you get so shafted when you got divorced last time, the only thing you walked away with was a garden spade and the mountain bike your parents brought you for your 18th?"
"Correctamundo.Well, I did get to keep my J reg clio as well."
"Christ, didn't you do well."
"No really,this time it's for real, it's for forever man."
"good on you Gen...Bet mrs. Gens really happy?"
"Yes...until I just phoned her. 12 hours ago I was honeymooning in 5 star luxury, I just got my phonecall in to say I'm gonna be home about 2 am, there's two crack smokin' house burglars waiting for me to deal with down the block and only me on duty on the crew. Ho-hum. Such is life."

"Any plans for the new year Gen?"
"Well yes...erm..well I had my annual appraisal with DS wise bloke just before Christmas and he said I should be going for promotion, so, I spoke with my woman and me mom and dad over Christmas and they said I should go for it so I think I might."
"I thought you had to have the request in before Christmas to take the exam in March?"

"Hey Gen, happy new year. Did I just hear you say that you wanted to do the Sergeants exam this year?" Juice boy, my trusted partner in crime entered the room.
"And a happy new year to you my very good friend. It is true, the Gen does want to put his jeans back in the drawer and put on those horrid itchy trousers once more."
"How you gonna do that when the closing date for the exam request was in early December?
"Juice boy, I have only been with you for just under thirty seconds of the new year and I already want to go and throw myself off a railway bridge. Why the fuck didn't you tell me?"
"I know that I am the best partner you ever had, but being able to read your mind is not one of my strongest attributes. How the fuck did I know you wanted to go for the sergeants promotion exam?"
"Are you sure?"
"Seeing as though I put in for it, yes, I am sure."
"I tell you something now juice boy, if you ever try to order me about if you get to be a sergeant, I will pan your head in in the back yard, then tear out your still-beating heart and throw it on your chest, smiling, whilst taking a video of you on my phone, then publishing it on the interweb."
"thanks for the vote of confidence...mate"
"I'm only joking, I'll just tell you to fuck off instead"

"Hey Gen, you could try a last-ditch attempt and email or phone the woman who sends the applications away to Centrex, her names Sally, she works in HQ"
"Juice boy, provide me with Sally's number and watch and learn my friend. This plea bargaining is going to be better than a coked up barrister paying off his student loan."

"I'll try the email option first. If I get a knock back, then I will try the charm offensive and then the downright begging. As a last resort, I might cry like a girl...or you juice boy."
"...following my annual appraisal...planning ahead for the forthcoming year...capitalising on feedback from my managers...didn't realise the urgent timescales...wondering whether you might accept a late application...professional plans for 2007 may be ruined...special circumstances...find it in your heart to allow the application in...would be most endebted to you...kind regards..."
"COMPUTER SAYS NO" came the reply in about a nanosecond, from a woman with a lot of power to wield.

"Give me that ladies number juice boy, please?"
"She knocked you back straight away? That's it gen, you're fucked."
"There is not a fat lady singing in here juice boy. Watch and listen "...ring ring...Hello?...(oh. she sounds scary. be polite gen.) Hello...its DC General here from fuckwit town CID, how are you? I trust you had a good new year?"
"Yes I did thankyou. How can I help you"
"I sent you an email about two minutes ago and I..."
"You cannot send in a late application. This is Centrex, not division."
"Madam, they now send rocket ships to photograph Mars, ears are grown on the back of mice and they can tell certain surnames from DNA. I'm sure that in some circumstances, they can make an exception to a rule. Have you even tried asking them?"
"Look DC General, I have turned down at least twenty other calls of exactly the same nature as yours and that was over four weeks ago. I cannot let you make a late application, I'm sorry."
"I will have to send my 8 year old back to her chimney sweeps job and sell my possessions't worry about me madam...I can wait another year as a slave"
"I don't think it's really that bad DC General. Read force orders next time"
"I don't get the time madam, I am too busy keeping the division afloat and making sure my heart doesn't explode. But thanks for your time."
"Sorry DC general, but your lack of planning does not constitute my emergency"
"Happy new year." Click. bzzzzzzzzz.
"Fuckin jobsworth"

"That's it then gen. Slogging your guts out in the divisional CID office for another year then. Happy days"
"Yeah juice boy. Happy days. Make me a cuppa tea and then get the car warmed up, we've got two in for burglary and I'm in the mood for some interrogation."
"I'm afraid you're on your own gen, I've got four bailers in today and DS wise bloke says I've got to deal with them and get the file in. Sorry."
"Just the tea then? mate? best pal?"
"No tea bags gen"


General gets married.

I know. You'd think I should know better.

There were hearts breaking all over the world I tell you.

Sorry I've been quiet.

Oh and happy new year everyone.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


General comes back from the dead...

About a month ago, the general woke up one Monday morning and said Fuck it. I'm not going to work today. This is not good. This means my head is full up. It was about the time that I just heard that we were to lose 8 detectives off my crew, leaving 4 detectives (including me) to soak up the work of about 18 detectives who were already strapped.

It was also around the time that an anonymous stress survey was doing the rounds. I had taken the time to fill it out and was a little concerned to find that I had also filled up 4 x A4 sides of further information for the stress survey folk to read. This is not good. This is bad.

I consoled myself that I had been telling the management (and you lot) that we needed more humans to help with the workload for some time. And so began my self-certified sick leave. This allowed me a week to get my shit together and have a rest before my body broke and my head actually came apart like a Terrys chocolate orange. I knew something was up when I didn't wake up on the Tuesday until 1430hrs. I had won the Golden blanket award.

I made a cup of tea, munched round my crib for half an hour, had a bath and had a little devil on my shoulder saying "shall we go on the piss and then phone our missus about midnight and ask her to pick us up from the battle cruiser". Luckily, I had to eat which kept lucifer at bay on my shoulder. So I made an egg sandwich, sat on the sofa and watched DVD's until midnight when I decided to go to bed. This continued for a week.

By the end of the week, my body actually allowed itself to be poorly so I had a really heavy cold and virus type shit going on so I went to the quack and he wrote me a note. Cool. Another week off. Beelzebub was now on my shoulder saying "you can't have 2 weeks off work, who will deal with the 67 crimes you have in your basket, the 5 long term enquiries, the overnight prisoners, the 'general you will be shot if you don't adhere to this policy etc etc.'"

Fuck off devil.

I did have some calls off DS wise bloke and Juice Boy who said " fuckin thanks for leaving me " which obviously made me feel much brighter. In any case, there did seem like some genuine concern that I was okay and I wasn't going to go mad or need 6 months to prevent burnout which it was quite obvious I was very near to.

So, Monday morning, armed with my sick note from the doc and feeling ready for action, I turned to.

267 Emails, I kid you not. Most of them telling me how shit I am at anything resembling procedure or red-tape policy. And some other boring ones from idiots who don't deserve to have an email account. And a couple of good ones saying hope you're okay and shit like that. I had one from DS wise bloke ordering me to come and see him that very afternoon for my annual appraisal. I had to take this seriously apparently because if you don't have your appraisal done before the end of this date, the Chief Super will tear your supervisor a new head in front of everyone at the next tasking meeting. I found this mildly strange seeing as though I hadn't had one for 6 years until a couple of years ago. Anyway, DS wise bloke is a stickler for this type of back patting shite so I had to go just to shut him up.

"Hello Gen my good friend..I trust you are feeling better and aren't going to wipe out the rest of our office with your bubonic plague?"
"Why thank you sarge, I'm feeling much better for not having to listen to you giving me shit jobs all day and then pestering me for the end of week returns..."
" Ha ha gen, now I know you are joking, you love it really..."
" Whatever."

"I have set aside 3 hours for this appraisal, I hope that is okay with you?"
" You'll need more time than that for me to drip and mank in"
" Gen, my trusted professional friend, this is not a time to mank and moan, this appraisal is a celebration of a fine years work by a gifted detective"
"Whatever. You making me a brew then?"
"With pleasure. I will even clean the botulism out of your cup. We were growing a kind of penicillin culture in the bottom of it for you. Look, it looks like the surface of the moon doesn't it."
"Sarge, you made me go off sick because you are fucking clinically insane and I'm scared of you you freak."
"You don't mean that gen, you love me and you know it"
" No. I love beer and women, jack and coke, sleep, food and nice trainers. Not you, you should be in one flew over the cuckoos nest."

"Shall we start? good. I have to grade you 1,2 or 3...3 is shite and you will only have a 3 if you have never even done the thing they are asking. You have some 3's for like taking vulnerable witness statements and stuff."
"Fuck that.I ain't havin no 3's. You can have have some 3's for not getting human help and not taking the crew out for enough beers sarge"
"ha ha. 2 is you are good at your job. I know you are good at your job so 1 is fucking excellent, much better than good and you will have some 1's."
" Yep. for being a top boy, style and wearing nice clobber. Flannel with the ladies as well, I get a 1 for that defo..."
" I'm being serious gen, I have given you some 1's but on others, the benchmark is 2. You have to negotiate and convince me that you are exceptional in some of the skill areas"
"Come the fuck on then skip, bring it on you badboy..."

"so, how many 1's have I got DS wise bloke? Shit loads thats how many."
" I must say, that I was expecting more of you, I'm putting you down for a 3 for negotiating and influencing..."

"Gen I want you to read the final supervisors comments and understand them please..."
" I would like to place on record my sincere gratitude for the tremendous contribution you have made to the team since your arrival in January. You are a pleasure to supervise and If I could have another 3 or 4 detectives of your calibre, I would remain in the same role for the rest of my career. You have the ability to bring flair to your detective work and you infect others with your enthusiasm in all you do. However, I would add that it is a professional wish of mine to see you put that same effort and enthusiasm into promotion. You would make an excellent sergeant and I have no doubt that you could be a substantive sergeant within twelve to 18 months if you applied yourself to the matter. I have never, since I have been a sergeant, scored anyone as highly in their appraisal as I have you on this occasion. You should be proud of your achievements this year which has been arguably the toughest year of your professional career to date."
"Nice one sarge."
"You deserve it now get the fuck out of my office you lazy twat"
"And get me a brew. And why the fuck have you got 67 crimes in your basket. We need to talk."
"We just did for 5 hours sarge. I grew a beard listening to you droning on."

I'm back. I feel better. Thanks for all of your loving comments when I was chained to the desk. I have been quiet the last fortnight because I have been working late to clear the shit I never cleared when I was ill.

I'll have an email off you all for christmas if you don't mind?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


General spends all day chained to a desk...

Metaphorically speaking. I spent ten hours today writing up a conspiracy file, which is not best use of my finely honed, professional street detective skills and abilities. I have got to get out tomorrow, see which way the winds blowing and let them know I'm about.

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